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December 10, 2012 | By Victoria Kim, Harriet Ryan and Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times
After five years of legal wrangling, confidential personnel files of at least 69 priests accused of sexually abusing children in the Los Angeles Archdiocese could be ordered released as early as January, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge said Monday. Judge Emilie H. Elias set a hearing for Jan. 7 to hear objections to the release of what a church attorney said were five or six banker's boxes of files relating to the archdiocese's handling of child molestation claims, which could include internal memos, Vatican correspondence and psychiatric reports.
December 8, 2012 | Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim
In its landmark $660-million settlement with victims of sexual abuse five years ago, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to make public the confidential personnel records of all priests accused of molesting children. Victims said the release of the files would provide accountability for church leaders who let pedophiles remain in ministry, and law enforcement officials suggested that the documents could lead to criminal cases against those in charge. After years of delays and legal wrangling, the files are set to become public in coming weeks.
August 25, 2012 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles suspended a priest Friday amid allegations that he stole nearly $300,000 from an elderly widow who was a member of his parish. Michalena Jones, 79, filed a lawsuit this week that accused Father Peter Valdez of befriending her after her husband's death and using his influence to steal $284,000 over a seven-year period. The archdiocese placed Valdez on administrative leave, "pending the resolution of this matter," said Tod Tamberg, an archdiocese spokesman.
May 18, 2012
Prodded by an ultraconservative Catholic group, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., has criticized Friday's scheduled speech at Georgetown University by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. Although Sebelius favors abortion rights, the "sin" that incurred the archdiocese's displeasure was the Obama administration's proposed rule requiring insurance coverage for contraception for employees of religious hospitals and educational institutions. Because Sebelius' actions "present the most direct challenge to religious liberty in recent history," the archdiocese suggested, students at the Jesuit-affiliated university shouldn't be able to hear her speak at an awards ceremony for its Public Policy Institute.
February 3, 2012 | By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, who was accused by local prosecutors during his 15-year tenure as head of the Philadelphia archdiocese of ignoring sexual abuse of children by hundreds of priests, has died. He was 88. The Roman Catholic archdiocese announced that Bevilacqua died in his sleep Tuesday night in his apartment at a seminary in a Philadelphia suburb. Bevilacqua, known for his regular visits to all 302 parishes in the archdiocese and for his strong stands against racism and anti-Semitism, was also sharply critical of homosexuals and refused for several years to close Catholic churches and schools on the Rev. Martin Luther King's birthday.
January 5, 2012 | Scott Gold and Louis Sahagun
From humble beginnings in southwest Mexico, Gabino Zavala entered the priesthood and embarked on a remarkable journey that landed him squarely in the corner offices of the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese. An auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, he oversaw the church's vast San Gabriel region, a diverse community considered vital to the future of the church. Then, from his pulpit, he became a forceful champion for social and economic justice. Popular and approachable, Zavala was widely known by his first name.
September 27, 2011 | By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times
Dwindling enrollment and other challenges have decimated urban Catholic schools nationwide, but a high-profile initiative to raise $100 million in tuition assistance may allow thousands of children to continue attending schools in the Los Angeles Archdiocese and save those schools from extinction. The initiative, headed by former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan, will ask supporters to make provisions in their trusts or wills for the archdiocese's Catholic Education Foundation, which already awards thousands of grants annually to needy students.
July 20, 2011 | By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
Ending days of speculation, Pope Benedict XVI has announced a shake-up of leadership in the troubled Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which has been staggered in recent months by a far-reaching sexual abuse scandal. Benedict said Tuesday that he had accepted the resignation of Cardinal Justin Rigali, who has been roundly criticized for his handling of sexual abuse cases. In his place, the pope named Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, who has developed a national reputation as an outspoken conservative, uncompromising in his opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
June 29, 2011 | Steve Lopez
Early in 2001, a young priest arrived in Southern California after being asked to leave his diocese near Rome. The Rev. Fernando Lopez Lopez first went to the San Bernardino diocese, where a monsignor found it odd that he would show up unannounced, with no letter of explanation from his bishop. The monsignor checked with church officials in Italy and was told Lopez Lopez had been asked to leave his post. When the monsignor confronted Lopez Lopez with this information, the priest admitted he had been asked to leave because of complaints from parishioners in Tivoli that he was involved in drug activity with young men in the church.
March 16, 2011
After four years of waiting to learn the back story of the sex-abuse scandal that rocked the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, victims still face one obstacle ? the release of thousands of pages of confidential church documents. Victims of clergy abuse say that release of the personnel files of dead, convicted or admitted pedophile priests will reveal the truth of the hierarchy's complicity, just as it did in Boston when a court compelled church leaders to turn over a trove of papers that showed how officials protected priests from prosecution and shuffled them from parish to parish.
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